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The Good Samaritan

The following is a list of Bible Truths in Luke 10:25-37, the story of the Good Samaritan.

  1. Jesus taught that you should love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and that you should love your neighbor as yourself.
  2. The Samaritan used his own bandages, wine, oil, donkey, and money to care for a hurt man he did not know.  Luke 10:30-35.
  3. Jesus taught that every person was a neighbor who should be cared for.  Luke 10:29-37.
  4. Jesus commanded the expert in the law to show love for his neighbors by meeting their needs.  Luke 10:27, 29, 36-37.

The following Background information is helpful in understanding the story.

Setting - The lawyer, who was Jewish, asked Jesus several questions.  Jesus responded in a typical fashion for a teacher by asking a question and letting the student discover the answer to his own question.  When he answered his questions, the lawyer was forced to admit that it was not the Jewish religious leaders but the Samaritan, who was very much disliked by Jews, who proved to be a good neighbor to the hurt man.
Levite - a member of the tribe of Levi.  It was the Levite's responsibility to take care of the temple.  Only Levites could become priests.  However, not all Levites were priests.
Priest - a Levite who served in the temple and offered prayers and sacrifices to God on behalf of the people.
Jew - A descendant of Israel's southern kingdom of Judah who lives by the laws of the covenant made by God with the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai.
Samaritan - A resident of Samaria very much disliked by the Jews.
Relations between Jews and Samaritans - As can be seen in John 4:9, Jews and Samaritans were not the best of friends during New Testament times.  Both claimed to be true descendants of the nation of Israel.  Samaritans descended from the northern kingdom of Israel while the Jews descended from the southern kingdom of Judah.  The Jews believed Jerusalem was the only true place of worship while the Samaritans located the true place of worship at Mt. Gerizim.  In 128 BC, the Jews destroyed the Samaritan temple at Mt. Gerizim.  While the actual reasons for the hatred between the two groups is not known, it is known that the Jews believed the Samaritans were not pure from a religious viewpoint.
Going Down - The Bible says the man who was robbed and the priest were 'going down' from Jerusalem to Jericho because the men were traveling about seventeen miles from Jerusalem, which was about 2600 feet above sea level, 'down to' Jericho, which was about 825 feet below sea level.

The following activities can be used to teach the Bible story and truths.

Bible Story Activities.
Wall Mural.  The children can tell the story through art.
Put butcher paper on the wall and let the children use markers, paint, colors, etc. to draw the following scenes.
Scene 1 - The robbers beat the man and leave him for dead.
Scene 2 - The priest walks by the man.
Scene 3 - The Levite walks by the man.
Scene 4 - The Samaritan stops and helps the man.
Scene 5 - The Samaritan takes the man to the inn and pays for his care.
After they complete the drawing, ask the students to describe the story in their own words.
Role Play.  This is a fun story for the children to role play.
Actors needed:  Narrator, robbers, priest, Levite, Samaritan, innkeeper.
Consider letting the Narrator tell about the priest, Levite, and Samaritan as the actor takes the stage.
A priest served in the temple and offered prayers and sacrifices to God for the people.  Surely he would help.
A Levite was a priest's assistant and took care of the temple.  Surely he would help.
A Samaritan was a person the Jews did not like because they thought a Samaritan was not pure.
Who Is My Neighbor?  Use this activity to help the children understand that they should love others regardless of where they live, what they do, the language they speak, etc.
Prejudice is treating a person unfairly because of who they are, what they are, how much money they make, etc.
Examples of reasons for prejudice include money, position in society, gender, language, race, nationality, athletic skills, mental abilities, popularity, etc.
Ask the children for examples of kids who treat others unfairly.  Examples could include
The popular kids are unkind to the kids who are not popular.
The good athletes make fun of those who are not good athletes.
The smart kids laugh at those who make bad grades.
The kids who have nice clothes criticize the clothes others wear.
Be nice to everyone.
What Do I Do?  Use the following situations to help the children understand what it means to love one another.
Write the following situations on separate slips of paper.  Or click here to go to a page you can print.  Situations 1 through 5 are for younger students.
For younger students, put the separate slips of paper into a hat.  Ask a child to draw a slip from the hat.  The teacher can read the situation and ask the children what they can do to show the special love Jesus says we should have.
For older students, consider dividing the class into groups and letting them role play the situation.
Situation 1.  This morning you were playing at Susie's house.  She got mad and told you to go home.  This afternoon, Susie comes to your house and wants to play.
Situation 2.  Yesterday, Tommy brought his favorite toy to the playground but you forgot your toy.  He would not play with you or let you play with his toy.  Today, Tommy forgot his toy and wants to play with you and your toy.
Situation 3.  When you are at Bobby's house, he will not share his Easter candy with you.  Later in the day, Bobby comes to your house.  Your mom has just made cookies and Bobby wants some. 
Situation 4.  Jane and Molly would not play with you yesterday.  They said they did not want to be your friend any more.  Today, you and Jill are playing soccer and Jane wants to play.
Situation 5.  You are on a field trip to the butterfly museum with your class.  Billy has been mean to you all morning.  It is now time for lunch and Billy forgot his dessert.  You have extra dessert and Billy wants some of your dessert.
Situation 6.  You and Bill have been drafted by the same basketball team.  Bill thinks he is a much better player than you.  He laughs every time you shoot.  The coach just named the starting players.  You will start but Bill will not.  Bill is sad and thinking about quitting the team.
Situation 7.  Susie is a classmate who lives down the street from you and always makes fun of the clothes you wear.  She will not play with you and tells the other girls in your class not to play with you either.  She calls you a nerd.  Your class has a math project due tomorrow.  Susie forgot her book at school and wants to borrow yours.
Situation 8.  You live next door to a grumpy man and his grumpy wife.  They yell at you whenever your ball goes in their yard.  They complain to your parents whenever you and your friends make too much noise.  They are always getting you into trouble.  The grumpy man and his grumpy wife have planned a vacation and are trying to find someone to pick up their newspaper and take care of their cat while they are out of town.
Situation 9.  Last week Jill invited everyone in your class except you to her birthday party.  She handed out the invitations during class and told everyone in the class that you were not invited.  Your birthday is next month.  Your mom said you could have a party and invite the whole class if you wanted.  Your mom wants to know who you want to invite to your party.
Situation 10.  You are on an all day field trip to the zoo with your class.  Tommy, the class bully, picks on you all morning long.  It is now lunch and everyone goes to the snack bar to buy a snack.  Tommy discovers he forgot his lunch money at home.  You are the only one in the class with extra money.
Brain Teasers
Word Search:  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.
For Beginners.
For the Experienced.
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